Kick-off Event

Kick-off Event

Kick-off Event

The Kick-off Event marked the official start of the 2023 GFFA with an exchange between high-level experts of the global agri-food sector from politics, industry, science, and civil society under the guiding theme “Food Systems Transformation: A Worldwide Response to Multiple Crises”.

The kick-off event gave an introduction to the topic, outlining its diverse aspects and paving the way for the discussions held at the many events of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). The kick-off event was hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Berlin Senate and Messe Berlin GmbH.

Please find the recording of the event here.

Participating experts at the GFFA opening 2023

Jason Clay provides thought leadership on global issues and trends affecting food. He ran a family farm, worked at USDA, taught at Harvard and Yale, and spent 15 years working with indigenous and displaced people. In 1988, he worked with companies like Ben & Jerry’s (Rainforest Crunch) to use products to generate funding for human rights and environment issues. At WWF, Clay launched programs on aquaculture, agriculture, livestock, and market transformation. He led a 3-year program to identify and reduce the key impacts of global shrimp aquaculture. He co-convened standards setting processes for the production of some two dozen commodities, worked with 70 of the 100 largest global food companies, authored 20 books and 700 articles, and given 1,000 invited talks. Clay is currently exploring new business models and markets to address producer livelihood and assets reduce key impacts from global food. He is currently leading a 2-year proof of concept to explore “Codex Planetarius”, a set of minimum global standards that reduce the key impacts of producing globally traded food. Clay studied at Harvard, LSE and received his PhD in anthropology and international ag from Cornell.

Mr. Fakhri is a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law where he teaches courses on human rights, food law, development, and commercial law. He is also the director of the Food Resiliency Project in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. He holds a Doctorate from the University of Toronto, Masters from Harvard Law School, Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from Western University.

He has taught courses on the right to food at Harvard Law School, European University Institute, and the University of Arizona Indigenous Governance Program. He has delivered lectures on international human rights and development topics at universities in places such as South Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland, Iceland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He has also led public dialogues on human rights and development with peasant organizations, labor unions, and human rights activists in the Arab region and North America, and at international organizations such as the WTO Ministerial Conference.

During his practice as a lawyer, Mr. Fakhri fought for the rights of people who were indigent and incarcerated in a psychiatric institution. More recently, his book Bandung, Global History, and International Law (co-edited with Vasuki Nesiah and Luis Eslava) was cited by the International Court of Justice.

He was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council in March 2020 and assumed his functions on 1 May 2020.

Estrella Penunia is Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmers’ organizations, currently with members in sixteen countries in Asia,with a combined membership of around 13M small scale women, men, and young farmers, engaged in crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, herding and pastoralism.  AFA conducts activities related to policy information, analyses and campaigns, as well as dialogues with decision-makers at national, regional and international levels. It provides technical and managerial support to members’ initiatives on farmers’ organizing and empowerment, access to natural and production resources, sustainable agriculture, equity-led marketing and trading. As a Filipino-Asian social development worker, Esther spent her professional years in the field of rural development, working with the farmers’, fishers’ and indigenous peoples’ sectors in various capacities as community organizer, participatory action researcher, trainer, gender advocate, consultant, campaigns coordinator, executive officer/manager and networker.



Monika Jones is one of the leading bilingual journalists and presenters in Germany. As an English speaking News Anchor at Germany’s global TV broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, she is familiar to a wide international audience in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

As a bilingual live event moderator, Monika has taken part in major international summits, chairing high-level panels at the G7, the G20 and the United Nations Climate Change Conferences. Her specialist areas include economics, climate change, mobility, health and space sciences.
Monika presented one of the largest Livestream events ever as the official presenter of the European Space Agency’s historic Rosetta mission, which successfully landed the Philae space probe on a comet.

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